These are the invaders:
I noticed these bugs last year around may so we had someone come out
and spray the units and building. It helped a little but they are back
this year. Turns out that pesticides are not the solution. At first I
thought they were just harmless insects but it turns out these guys
burrow into moist wood and lay their eggs. That is also why i'm
posting in this group because i believe this is going to involve some
repairing. I guess what i am trying to get at is how do we find these
guys? Do i have to start tearing apart drywall and flooring till i
find some moist / damp wood? Should i check around piping areas where
leaks could be present and causing moisture in the wood framing? By
the way the condo building is only 3 years old and is all brick on the
outside. Any tips on how i can resolve this problem will be most
Two obvious places to start -- first, make sure there's no buried trash
pit left over from construction around the condo site. Many chintzy
contractors will bulldoze a hole for construction debris and then rather
than haul it off simply fill over it during landscaping. Signs of
subsidence, etc., are clues.
Second and probably more likely is that there are leaks somewhere either
in piping or roofs or drains or leaking toilet flanges, etc., etc.,
etc., that are simply seeps or otherwise hidden. Particularly
suspicious would be if there are common laundry areas, etc.
In a condo setting, there's at least a reasonable chance the problem
isn't necessarily even initiated in your unit; the condo organization
should be involved as well although you certainly should verify there
are no issues of the above in your own unit that won't necessarily be
the root of the problem.
If you're unable to do this on your own, professional inspectors may be
useful. Might turn to local extension office or land grant university
for some advice as well.
On Thu, 12 Jun 2008 08:23:21 -0700, tainocoqui wrote:
Insects have minimal goals in life: food, shelter, reproduction. Take
away the food and shelter and they should disappear.
Remove any organic material or wet/rotten wood and dry things out a bit
and you may find that you have destroyed habitat. Keep it that way and
they should go away.
Meanwhile, you can easily obtain permethrin pesticides at any garden or
home improvement center.
Clean up and spray perimeter of building inside and out.
You should not need to tear up the house to find the moist spots. A good
home inspector with an infrared camera and handheld moisture meter can find
most if not all the spots for you. It dosen't sound as though you are aware
of any, just worried it could be wet. Follow the common sense advice of the
other posters and you should be in good shape.
Most bugs need a path between the ground and the wood, eliminate that path
and most bugs stay out.
Outside, use pressure treated lumber and anything in place that is not
painted treat it with an insecticidal preservative like Jasco Termin-8 (same
as pressure treatment).
A competent exterminator when aware of the species he is killing should be
successful in treating the home. The generic pesticide they tried last year
may have been used without consideration of what bug they were after.
how/when/where it is appearing.
What part of the country? Who identified the bug? Bug appearing only
indoors? All units of
There have been some horror stories in Florida with fairly new
developments being discovered
to have tremendous amounts of moisture damage due to poor construction.
One was a condo
just a few blocks from us - fortunately the President of the condo board
was an attorney. They
had major repairs done, with most of the building being covered with
blue tarps for more than a
year. That and another development that I read about had a great deal of
water damage because
windows weren't properly installed and sealed up.
If your condo has a management company, they should have engineers and
pest control contractors
who are reputable.
Around these parts (Florida) the moist wood inhabitants are termites and
carpenter ants. Carp.
ants are easy to locate because they forage, mostly at dusk. They had
begun to come indoors for
food, but all the nests were outdoors, in damaged siding, fence and/or
dead limbs of trees and shrubs.
If I had to look for entry points for any bug, I would begin with gaps
around doors and windows, looking
for areas not caulked. Any signs of damaged wood, such as blistering or
peeling. Look into plumbing
access panels for signs of water damage. Plumbing and electrical
entries, and roofing should be inspected
Thanks for all the information everyone. I really appreciate it.
The location is Chicago, Illinois about 3 miles west from downtown.
I'm going to take some pictures of the building and i'll post links to
them here soon.
The building had some leaking problems in the beginning and I did see
water get in through the windows. This happened the first year i moved
in. I believe water was getting in through the roof but that was
repaired. That may have set the stage for the investation though. /
The 3rd unit hasn't sold yet so the developer still has control of the
association. Its difficult working with them because they are way out
in the suburbs and they don't speak English very well. After
explaining the situation to them i don't believe they realize how big
of a problem this could be. They are trying to sell the 3rd unit but
my guess is they will have to disclose this problem to any possible
buyers??? Also are they responsible for 1/3 of repair costs? I am
guessing i should get a lawyer involved.
These are the pest we are seeing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wharf_borer
I have found them pretty much everywhere in the condo and all 3 units
have them. I have seen a few outsite but mostly inside, highest
concentration being in two of the bathrooms and by the main entrance
door to the building and the rear door of my unit.
Apparently, the critters are attracted to fungus. There may be
even bigger, concealed problems due to fungus/mold growth.
I agree with you; it's time to bring in the big guns. Without
them, you'll likely get nowhere with the developer.
There are only 3 units in the condo? Bad news when it comes to legal
action because you
can't spread the cost very well. As for not speaking English in
Chicago, if they can build
or buy a building, they speak enough. I'll bet they would be able to
read a letter from an
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